Women?s rights group slams IT gender pay gap

Equal pay advocates call for new approach as Government unveils pay reform
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Women's rights campaign group The Fawcett Society has called for a change to the way working life is organised following revelations that the IT trade has the largest gender pay disparity of any industry.

A recent report from the CMI has revealed that while the average upper tier wage for men is £50,487, the figure sinks to £32,751 for women. In lower levels, men can expect to receive £20,187 on average, while women can expect just £19,068.

“The CMI’s new findings suggest the IT industry to be the worst performing in terms of gender pay disparities, and supports Fawcett’s analysis that discrimination still exists and is experienced routinely by women in the workplace,” the Fawcett Society’s policy and campaigns officer, Preethi Sundaram told PCR.

“The economic recession has worsened women’s economic inequalities and this is reflected in CMI’s findings that show that over the last 12 months, 4.5 per cent of the female workforce has been made redundant compared with just three per cent of men.”

The findings from the CMI has also prompted the Government to take action; from October this year, businesses will no longer legally be able to stop employees comparing their salaries with their colleagues.

“Bringing an end to the culture of pay secrecy will make it easier for women to find out if they are being paid less than men,” said a spokesman for the Government Equalities Office. “If we are going to rebuild our economy and return to sustainable growth we need to capitalise on the wealth of talent that women have to offer businesses today.”

However, Sundaram also urged those employers who have already closed the pay gap to raise their profile: “Employers in the IT industry who have implemented equal pay should actively publicise what they have done and how they have gained from it. The IT industry should be encouraged to extend its budgetary perspective – a longer term view will be more likely to show the harder-to-evaluate qualitative gains of tackling inequality – such as greater staff loyalty and morale, increased productivity, and talent retention.”

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